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J Virol. 2008 Jan;82(1):105-14. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Akt plays a critical role in replication of nonsegmented negative-stranded RNA viruses.

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  • 1Center of Molecular Immunology and Infectious Disease, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, 115 Henning Bldg., University Park, PA 16802, USA.


The order Mononegavirales (comprised of nonsegmented negative-stranded RNA viruses or NNSVs) contains many important pathogens. Parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5), formerly known as simian virus 5, is a prototypical paramyxovirus and encodes a V protein, which has a cysteine-rich C terminus that is conserved among all paramyxoviruses. The V protein of PIV5, like that of many other paramyxoviruses, plays an important role in regulating viral RNA synthesis. In this work, we show that V interacts with Akt, a serine/threonine kinase, also known as protein kinase B. Both pharmacological inhibitors and small interfering RNA against Akt1 reduced PIV5 replication, indicating that Akt plays a critical role in PIV5 replication. Furthermore, treatment with Akt inhibitors also reduced the replication of several other paramyxoviruses, as well as vesicular stomatitis virus, the prototypical rhabdovirus, indicating that Akt may play a more universal role in NNSV replication. The phosphoproteins (P proteins) of NNSVs are essential cofactors for the viral RNA polymerase complex and require heavy phosphorylation for their activity. Inhibition of Akt activity reduced the level of P phosphorylation, suggesting that Akt is involved in regulating viral RNA synthesis. In addition, Akt1 phosphorylated a recombinant P protein of PIV5 purified from bacteria. The finding that Akt plays a critical role in replication of NNSV will lead to a better understanding of how these viruses replicate, as well as novel strategies to treat infectious diseases caused by NNSVs.

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